Nadia & Rajeeb Samdani, Diana Campbell Betancourt

The collectors and curator building an art scene in Bangladesh

If the international artworld’s denizens are familiar with Bangladesh’s current art scene, that’s down to Nadia Samdani, husband Rajeeb and their foundation’s artistic director, Diana Campbell Betancourt. Last year 368,000 people attended their biennial Dhaka Art Summit. This year, the Samdanis were busy completing Srihatta, a vast arts complex they’ve built in the northeast of the country, which might replace the summit altogether when the 40-hectare sculpture park, 465sqm gallery and 930sqm artist and writer residency facilities do eventually open. Meanwhile, the foundation collaborated with Alserkal Avenue to host a show of Bangladeshi, South Asian and Southeast Asian artists in Dubai (curated by Campbell Betancourt), and with Getty Foundation in collaboration with Cornell University’s Institute for Comparative Modernities and Asia Art Archive on a new research project connecting South and Southeastern Asian and African art histories.